Three Spokane Teens Arrested for Skid Marks on a Pride Crosswalk

If you do not have Lime scooters in your city, count yourself blessed. Lime is a company that rents out electric bikes and scooters. They showed up briefly in my town before disappearing from the streets, something for which I remain grateful to this day. For a while at least, they were the big thing in Salt Lake City. During the day, people used them for the purpose of getting around the city, and the clientele was made up of adults. But once late afternoon and evening set in, the scooters were taken over by obnoxious kids who made a point of terrorizing pedestrians merely for the fun of it. It got to the point that people in Salt Lake were demanding that Lime remove the things before someone got hurt. 

If we are to be honest, there are few things in this world that undisciplined people, young and old, won’t abuse, which includes Lime scooters. But in Spokane, something so egregious and heinous occurred that the company felt the need to step in. And no, it was not knocking old ladies down in the streets. It was something worse.

Much worse. 

On June 5, Spokane, Washington, police arrested three teens for leaving skid marks on a Pride/Progress flag painted on a crosswalk. Nineteen-year-old Ruslan V.V. Turko was booked into the Spokane Country jail and two minors were sent to juvenile detention on the charge of 1st degree malicious mischief. Police responded to a 911 call, no less, on reports that the group, which originally consisted of four people, was damaging the mural and yelling obscenities at nearby people. After talking with witnesses and reviewing the video, police had three of the vandals in custody within about 34 minutes.

Andy Ngo has the video of the offenders, no doubt recent initiates into “Heck’s Angels.”

Ngo noted that Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation making it a felony to deface a public pride symbol. The penalty can be a $10,000 fine and five years in the pokey. As you can see by Ngo’s post, prosecutors want a $15,000 bond. Ngo has also pointed out that absolutely nothing happened to the people who set up the CHAZ zone on Capitol Hill in Seattle. 

Lime’s director of government relations, Hayden Harvey, told The National Desk:

All of us at Lime condemn these vile acts in no uncertain terms. At a time when our teams at Lime are beginning pride celebrations around the globe, it is disturbing to see the hate taking place in Spokane. We will not let the hateful few spoil the joy of Pride Month in Spokane and are grateful for those working to make Spokane more welcoming for all.

Lime has also marked the intersection as a no-go zone for its vehicles on its app. If one enters the zone on a bike or scooter, it will slow to a halt and the driver will have to walk the vehicle through the zone. 

Lime’s sentiment has been echoed by others:

Others took a more pragmatic view:

The poster above has a point — why paint these things in intersections? I suspect one reason is to ensure that no one misses the message. Perhaps on a subconscious level, the Pride advocates want to see someone drive, spit, or otherwise disrespect these intersections so that the proper and necessary outrage can ensue, and the virtue signal will be shown far and wide for everyone to see. After all, they didn’t name June Pride Month for nothing. If we are being honest, if, for some inane reason, someone painted an American, Gadsden, or Appeal to Heaven flag on an intersection in Spokane or some other major American city, twenty bucks says the image would be unrecognizable within 24 hours. And nobody would care. Chances are, defacing those flags would be lauded as the penultimate expression of First Amendment rights. 

I have another twenty bucks that says when these teens drove over the flag, they weren’t taking a stand for traditional values or fighting the fight for biblical Christianity. The teenage mind does not work that way. They were being rebellious and a trifle obnoxious because they wanted to scandalize people and get a reaction. It has been that way since the invention of the teenager. They probably saw the dominant culture and the sacred cow on display and wanted to poke their fingers in the eye of the establishment, just for the fun of it. That’s my bet since, traditionally, your average teenage boy is about as culturally sensitive as a dust mop when it comes to most things. 

I’m not condoning reckless behavior or the shouting of obscenities. I’m quickly approaching “grumpy old man” status, and those things tend to irritate me more than they used to, no matter who is doing them. But I suspect that in this case, the outrage is the point. And for those of you who dimly remember the ’60s, or have heard the myths and legends of the era, the whole thing casts the words “establishment” and “rebellion” in completely new lights, doesn’t it?

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